CFA rookie recognised for ‘giving back’

Lalitha Koya received the Bacchus Marsh CFA’s rookie of the year award. (Kristian Scott)

Instead of constantly “taking” from the community, Lalitha Koya decided to “give back”.

About two years ago, shortly after the birth of his son, Mr Koya joined the Country Fire Authority’s Bacchus Marsh brigade as a volunteer.

And last month, Mr Koya was presented with the brigade’s Rookie of the Year award.

“My dad tried to help others whenever he could,” Mr Koya says.

“I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to join the CFA, so I can give something back and encourage my son to do the same.”

Mr Koya has called Bacchus Marsh home for the past six years, but since volunteering with the brigade, his family of three has grown significantly.

“We’re just like a close family at the brigade – more like my second family,” he says. “You know people in the community by their first name … and you can reach out to people in the brigade, if you need help. It’s not only about giving back – it’s the social element that is satisfactory as well.”

Bacchus Marsh fire brigade’s 4th lieutenant Dale Salathiel said Rookie of the Year was awarded to members who had been with the brigade less than two years, and had shown professionalism, participation and leadership.

Chantelle Dawes was awarded firefighter of the year, while John Humphries took home member of the year.